Aquarium Sciences and Conservation

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 37-51

First online:

Cyanide-free Net-caught Fish for the Marine Aquarium Trade

  • Peter J. RubecAffiliated withInternational Marinelife Alliance-USA
  • , Ferdinand CruzAffiliated withInternational Marinelife Alliance-Philippines
  • , Vaughan PrattAffiliated withInternational Marinelife Alliance-Philippines
  • , Richard OellersAffiliated withAmerican Marine Dealers Association
  • , Brian McCulloughAffiliated withInternational Marinelife Alliance-Philippines
  • , Frank LalloAffiliated withInternational Marinelife Alliance-USA

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The International Marinelife Alliance (IMA) has been training collectors in the Philippines and Indonesia to use barrier-nets rather than sodium cyanide to capture marine-aquarium fish. Despite the training, collectors have been slow to switch to using nets because they can earn more using cyanide. A new Philippine export company has agreed to pay the collectors more for net-caught fish and to adhere to standards being set by the USA-based Marine Aquarium Council. The IMA is monitoring the collectors and conducting cyanide testing to certify that the fish are net-caught and totally cyanide-free. Clearance certificates now accompany shipments of these marine-aquarium fish being shipped to wholesalers and retailers associated with the American Marine Dealers Association (AMDA) situated in the USA and Canada. AMDA members are being surveyed to assess whether the net-caught fish are more cost competitive compared to cyanide-caught fish for the marine ornamental fish trade because of reduced mortality through the chain from reef to retailer.

cyanide fishing net-caught fish net-training cyanide toxicity fish mortality aquarium trade coral reef conservation